Ben Geman Mar 6
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Saudi Aramco chief bats aside 'peak demand' prospect

A flame from a Saudi Aramco oil installion. Photo: MARWAN NAAMANI / AFP / Getty Images

HOUSTON — The CEO of Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's state oil giant, says he's not worried about peak oil demand. But he is worried about how fashionable the idea has become these days.

“We must challenge mistaken assumptions about the speed with which alternatives will penetrate markets, and leave people no doubt that misplaced notions of peak oil demand and stranded resources are a dire threat to an orderly energy transition and energy security.”
— CEO Amin Nasser at a major energy conference

Why it matters: His lengthy remarks during a speech to the CERAWeek by IHS Markit conference highlight the growing prominence of debates over when the global thirst for oil will stop growing and head downward. Nasser added that the industry will need to invest over $20 trillion over the next 25 years to meet rising demand for oil and natural gas.

“I am not losing any sleep over peak oil demand or stranded resources," said Nasser, whose company is preparing for a massive IPO. He also warned against overestimating the impact of electric vehicles, given that cars represent just one-fifth of global oil demand and other industrial segments like petrochemicals need growing supplies.

One level deeper: The comments by the CEO represent a de-facto rebuttal to forecasts that global oil demand for oil, Saudi Aramco's core product, could peak in the not-too-distant future.

For example: Some Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts predicted in a recent note that the peak could occur by 2030 thanks to very fast electric vehicle adoption beginning in the early 2020s. However, the main forecasts of the International Energy Agency and OPEC see demand rising through at least 2040.

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Zuckerberg admits Facebook "breach of trust"

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks wearing a t-shirt, with trees behind him
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg weighed in on what he called the "Cambridge Analytica situation" today in a Facebook post, saying there was a "a breach of trust between Facebook and the people who share their data with us and expect us to protect it. We need to fix that."

"We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can't then we don't deserve to serve you. I've been working to understand exactly what happened and how to make sure this doesn't happen again. The good news is that the most important actions to prevent this from happening again today we have already taken years ago. But we also made mistakes, there's more to do, and we need to step up and do it."

Why it matters: Facebook has been under extraordinary pressure from lawmakers, regulators and Wall Street to respond to the issue.

Jonathan Swan 3 hours ago
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Trump to announce anti-China tariffs tomorrow

President Donald Trump
Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump plans to unveil his aggressive package of tariffs against China tomorrow, with a charge led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that will use Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to target Beijing.

The big picture: Two sources with direct knowledge tell me Kevin Hassett has been crunching the numbers, and the dollar value of the tariffs will likely be around $50 billion per year — or slightly less. The administration has used an algorithm to select a batch of Chinese products and then apply tariff rates to those products in a way that will hopefully limit the harm to American consumers.